Thursday, July 21, 2011

Comic Quickies

The Red Wing #1: This is one of those comics that at soon as it came up in the solicits, I knew I'd be buying it.  First of all, it is written by Jonathan Hickman.  I know that's a name that I haven't mentioned yet around here, but his reputation for writing original, imaginative and ground-breaking comics was enough to get my, I have technically read his stuff before (The Nightly News), I just haven't reviewed it yet. (Soon!)

Second, this is a comic about time travel...I've been a sucker for time travel ever since I saw Back to the Future.

Third, the art, handled by Nick Pitarra, (a dude who was a total unknown to me prior to this comic), looks like a beautiful blend of Geoff Darrow, and Frank Quitely.  Which is to say, the art is wonderful. 

So, does it all come together to make a decent comic?  YES!  The story is told in a non-linear fashion, and the first issue mostly serves as a means of introducing the characters and the world.  Basically, from what I can tell, it looks like humanity is at war with an alien race, and that war takes place all through time thanks to time travel.  So far the comic has a bit of an Ender's Game meets Wing Commander meets Star Wars X-wings.  But is probably even better than that sounds.

Mystery Men #3:  When I think about this issue, I have to let off a bit of a sigh.  After the first issue, (despite a catch-a-bullet-in-the-teeth scene) I had high hopes for this comic.  The second issue was pretty solid too, and further buoyed my hopes, but this third issue...well, those hopes got a bit deflated.

In this third issue, we learn that the evil board of directors, who have manipulated millions for their own profit, have created a couple more enemies thanks to meddling and back-stabbing done mostly by The General.

One such guy is a country doctor, whose home gets burned down after he gave medical aid to a striking miner.  Deciding to get revenge, this normally mild-mannered Doctor becomes The Surgeon.  The transformation from country doctor to slasher who deals cheesy one-liners like: "You need to remain still for the operation.  But don't will feel everything."  was a bit of a stretch.  The character just felt way too forced, and I don't see why he's in the story.

The other new character, who'll also very likely definitely become a team member and help fight The General is an archeologist who gains the powers of Achilles complete with shield and roman style sword.  The issue centered almost exclusively around these two new characters, and they were both pretty lame. 

The writing didn't seem on par with the first two issues either, though the art was still high quality.  Hopefully the next issue can get back to what made the first two issues worth reading: noir-style setting, that is light on the over the top super-hero antics and cheesy elements like shitty dialog and goofy action.

Sweet Tooth #23: Not much to say here except: Holy Fucking Shit!  I did NOT see that ending coming.

Um, so yeah, total shocker of an ending in this month's Sweet Tooth issue.

I realize that every time I do a write-up about Sweet Tooth I mention how I absolutely can not wait for the next issue because of some sort of cliff hanger ending.  Well, this issue has the mother of all cliff hanger endings, and I've never not been able to wait for the next Sweet Tooth issue more than right now.  If Jeff Lemire doesn't give me at least one major coronary by the end of this series, I'll consider myself lucky. 

Seriously, if you read my blog, and I haven't sold you on Sweet Tooth yet, I don't know what to say.  With this epic issue, I think Sweet Tooth just nosed ahead, and is no longer tied with Chew as my favorite comic. 

Green Wake #4: Another fantastic issue of Green Wake.  This issue delivered some long awaited reveals about the characters, their past lives, and Green Wake itself.  It was good to get some answers to a few of the mysteries that have been swirling around since the first issue.  From the looks of things, the next issue should be an exciting end to the first arc of this comic.

This is probably my favorite Green Wake issue so far.  There's some slick detective work, some gristly horror-action, and some interesting psychologically thrilling moments.  Rossmo's art was great too, I feel like he captured each scene quite well.

The next issue should wrap up this story arc, so I'm excited to see if Wiebe can bring everything together and deliver an ending that is as great as these past four issue have been.

  Popgun vol. 3:  So, I haven't read the first two Popgun volumes, but it doesn't really matter.  For those not familiar, Popgun is a giant comic anthology (467 pages!)  that collects a wide variety of short comics by a huge variety of comic creators. 

As you might guess, like most anthology collections, you gotta take the good with the bad here in Popgun vol. 3.  There were times when I was reading this that I was totally absorbed into many of the comics and times when I was completely underwhelmed by the content.  That being said, there is more good here than bad, and some of the stuff is really cool.

As far as anthologies go, I say this is a pretty damn good one.  There is literally something for everyone in here, and thanks to it's giant size, there is plenty of material, so you get to experience a whole bunch of different creators.  Worth checking out if you are unsure of what kind of comics you like and want to experience a wide variety of stuff.  Did I mention Popgun offers variety?

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